The Commodore 64 is 30

Commodore 64 was the most successful 8-bit micro ever according to The Commodore 64 is 30 article. Commodore 64 made its public debut at the 1982 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), though it wouldn’t go into production until later in the year before going on sale in the US market in August and few months later in Europe.


Inside, Commodore had packed a 6510 processor, an updated version of MOS Technology’s popular 6502, the chip used in the Vic-20, the BBC Micro and many others. In the UK, the 6510 was clocked at 985KHz, though the US version apparently ran at slightly over 1MHz. As the computer’s name suggested, it had 64KB of memory (though only 38KB of that was available to Basic). Basic was stored on a 20KB Rom chip and copied into the main memory when the 64 was booted.


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  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Commodore 64 computer, the creator died

    Commodore founder Jack Tramiel is dead. He was 83 years old.


  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Complete C64 System, Emulated on an STM32

    The Commodore 64 is the worlds bestselling computer, and we’re pretty sure most programmers and engineers above a certain age owe at least some of their career to this brown/beige keyboard that’s also a computer. These engineers are all grown up now, and it’s about time for a few remakes. [Jeri Ellisworth] owes her success to her version, there are innumerable pieces of the C64 circuit floating around for various microcontrollers, and now [Mathias] has emulated everything (except the SID, that’s still black magic) in a single ARM microcontroller.

    This is a direct emulation of the C64, down to individual opcodes in the 6510 CPU of the original. Everything in the original system is emulated, from the VIC, CIAs and VIAs, serial ports, and even the CPU of the 1541 disk drive. The only thing not emulated is the SID chip.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ditch the iPad; Build a Commodore 64 Tablet

    The classic Commodore 64 has had its share of modernizing in the OS department. From its roots starting up a basic prompt, to full high resolution GUI packages like GEOS, to today where [Jim_64] added a tablet like launcher complete with a touch screen interface.

    The GUI itself takes advantage of the high resolution graphics of the C-64 that looks similar to iOS, Icons are selected via cursor keys or joystick (what? no light pen?) and launch the various functions they represent. To add to the tablet-like feel of the OS, an off the shelf 3m touch screen panel and its corresponding RS232 interface board were obtained from digikey.

    cOS has been released for the commodore 64!

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Giving the C64 A WiFi Modem

    If there’s any indication of the Commodore 64’s longevity, it’s the number of peripherals and add-ons that are still being designed and built. Right now, you can add an SD card to a C64, a technology that was introduced sixteen years after the release of the Commodore 64. Thanks to [Leif Bloomquist], you can also add WiFi to the most cherished of the home computers.

    Commodore Wi-Fi Modem

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    World+dog to get retro classic Commodore 64 for Christmas
    Here comes your fully-licenced street-legal retrogasm

    German retro enthusiast Jens Schönfeld of Individual Computers is about to start manufacturing new Commodore 64 cases from the classic home computer company’s original injection moulds.

    His announcement follows a licensing deal with the outfit that now owns Commodore’s trademarks, Polabe Holding.

    Schönfeld’s announcement means his fellow-travellers and soul-mates can have a completely refurbished and fully-legal C64.

    Schönfeld has previously released the C64 Reloaded mainboard, a C64-compatible mainboard, and says he’s preparing two new versions for release “shortly”, partly to meet demand that has long exceeded supply.

    Commodore Back In Germany

    New For Old: c64c-Cases Planned For Autumn 2016

    The first newly branded Commodore products are span-new cases for the C64 computer, using the original injection molds back from the days Commodore Business Machines produced the C64c. Thanks to these new cases a C64 computer can finally be refurbished after all these years.

    2016: New c64-Hardware To Come

    Back in May 2015, the new main board C64 Reloaded (C64R) was released by hardware designer Jens Schönfeld and this with a huge success. This main board fits in any C64-case and is fully compatible with the original C64 computer. Two new versions of this main board are now being prepared for production. Technical details will be published shortly.

    About The C64:

    The Commodore 64 is considered as the best-selling home computer ever. Approximately up to 30 million units have been sold since its introduction in 1982. Despite its top-notch technical configuration at the time, the computer was received as very affordable. This was the basis of its worldwide success in private households.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This Old-Ass Commodore 64 Is Still Being Used to Run an Auto Shop in Poland

    Hell yeah.

    We need to learn a lesson about needless consumerism from this auto repair shop in Gdansk, Poland. Because it still uses a Commodore 64 to run its operations. Yes, the same Commodore 64 released 34 years ago that clocked in at 1 MHz and had 64 kilobytes of RAM. It came out in 1982, was discontinued in 1994, but it’s still used to run a freaking company in 2016. That’s awesome.

    Here’s what Commodore USA’s Facebook page wrote regarding the computer:

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hackaday Prize Entry: The FPGA Commodore

    The history of Commodore 8-bit computers ends with a fantastically powerful, revolutionary, and extraordinarily collectible device. The Commodore 65 was the chicken lip’ last-ditch effort to squeeze every last bit out of the legacy of the Commodore 64. Basically, it was a rework of a 10-year-old design, adding advanced features from the Amiga, but still retaining backwards compatibility. Only 200 prototypes were produced, and when these things hit the auction block, they can fetch as much as an original Apple I.

    For their Hackaday Prize entry, resident FPGA wizard [Antti Lukats] and a team of retrocomputing enthusiasts are remaking the Commodore 65. Finally, the ultimate Commodore 8-bit will be available to all. Not only is this going to be a perfect replica of what is arguably the most desirable 8-bit computer of all time, it’s going to have new features like HDMI, Ethernet, and connections for a lot of FPGA I/O pins.


    MEGA65 is an open-source new and open C65-like computer.
    Hardware designs and software are open-source (LGPL).

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hacked Headset Brings VR to the Commodore 64

    Not if [jim_64] has anything to say about it. He’s created a pair of virtual-reality goggles for the C64, and the results are pretty neat. Calling them VR is a bit of a stretch, since that would imply the headset is capable of sensing the wearer’s movements, which it’s not. With just a small LCD screen tucked into the slot normally occupied by a smartphone in the cheap VR goggles [jim64] used as a foundation for his build, this is really more of a 3D wearable display — so far.

    VR64, Virtual Reality Goggles for the Commodore 64

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Commodore 64 makes a half-sized comeback
    The keyboard’s cosmetic in this ‘retro-games-baked-onto ROM’ with HDMI and USB caper

    The Commodore 64 is coming back, in a form that owes a debt to both Nintendo’s shrunken Mini SNES and thee Vega+ Sinclair ZX Spectrum reboot.

    The due-in-early 2018 “C64 Mini” matches Nintendo’s plan to shrink an old machine, in this case by 50 per cent. Like the Mini and the Vega+ the revived Commodore will pack in pre-loaded retro games, 64 of them to be precise. The device will also ship with a USB joystick boasting 80s styling, HDMI out so it can connect to modern tellies and USB-mini for power.

    Things get a bit weird after that as the company behind the machine, Retro Games Ltd, says “As befits a home computer you can also plug in a standard USB PC keyboard and use as a classic C64 to type in those old BASIC computer listings or program new games.”

    The company says the machine also offers “Accurate C64 operation”, which is to be expected given its apparently a licensed production. You’ll also get “Pixel filter options (sharp, CRT, scanline emulation) and Pixel perfect graphics”. A Save Game option has been added, presumably with the help of some built-in memory.

    Price has been set at £69.99/$69.99/€79.99 and the machine will “hit the shops in early 2018” with Koch Media handling distribution.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Emulating A Complete Commodore 64

    When the Commodore 64 was released in 1982, it was a masterpiece of engineering.

    [Frank Bösing] has just managed to emulate an entire C64 on a Teensy 3.6. The Teensy uses an exceptionally powerful microcontroller, but this is a labor of love and code.

    The inspiration for this project comes from a reverse-engineered SID chip that was ported to the Teensy 3.2.

    Commodore C64 Emulator

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Internet Archive Launches a Commodore 64 Emulator

    The Internet Archive has launched a free, browser-based Commodore 64 Emulator with over 10,500 programs that are “working and tested for at least booting properly.”

    Software Library: C64

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ESP8266 NTSC C64 Emulator
    A C64 emulator on the ESP8266 with NTSC output.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This board is a hardware implementation (FPGA) of the entire C64, and it includes the Ultimate-II+ as well. An ALL IN ONE solution!

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Christian rock band hid a C64 program on a vinyl album in 1984

    YouTube classic computing enthusiast makes an odd discovery

    The album is “Electric Eye” by the band Prodigal. They hid the program in the runout groove, which also has “C-64” and other things etched on it. And sure enough, 8-Bit Show and Tell managed to record the analog audio of that program, transfer it to a magnetic cassette, and load-asterisk that sucker

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Connect USB Joystick to Commodore C64 © GPL3+

    HW equipment for classic home computers such as C64 gets old. Joysticks wear out and are hardly repairable. Can new equipment be used?

    The idea: Use two Competition Pro joysticks which are available still today as vintage rebuild but with USB. Important to know: There are two variants available. One which as a slower USB polling rate and one with a high polling rate (125 Hz). In some forums you can read about complaints that the slow polling rate is too slow. So, make sure to get the one with the high polling rate.

    Option 1: Connect the micro switches in the joystick and mount a C64 compatible connector. See

    Option 2: Convert the USB port into C64 control port digital signals by using an Arduino –> This is described here.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A great price for a cheap BASIC – but with an extremely expensive legacy

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Visual cycle-stepped 6502 CPU emulator


  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How “oldschool” graphics worked Part 1 – Commodore and Nintendo

    In part 1, I cover the limitations of color on older 1980′s computers and game consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Commodore 64.


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